Trained as a metalsmith, Lauren Fensterstock’s current practice places her in the role of unconventional landscape architect. While designing the garden at her home in Portland over a decade ago, Fensterstock began researching garden history and discovered the variety of ways humans have manipulated the natural world to express their own culture, views, and values. Fensterstock takes inspiration from historical moments, creating objects and installations that are labor-intensive and materially seductive. She uses techniques with long histories in the decorative arts, including paper cutting and quilling, mosaic, and shellwork.
Largely constructed in monochromatic black—a choice that speaks to her diverse influences, which range from twentieth-century minimalism to the Claude glass, a seventeenth-century drawing tool named for painter Claude Lorraine—Fensterstock’s landscapes express at once a void and the entire world, and invite us to take a closer look. Craft enables her to explore ecology—the study of relationships that form between organisms and their environment—in its truest sense.